A whole egg from the time of the Roman Empire was found in Britain: its contents were preserved

A whole egg from the time of the Roman Empire was found in Britain: its contents were preserved

In Aylesbury (Great Britain) during excavations, they found an ancient bird’s egg, which is almost two thousand years old.

And although it was demolished at the beginning of our era, during the Roman Empire, researchers found that its contents were preserved, writes CNN.

Scientists discovered this egg in the city of Aylesbury, which is 80 kilometers from London, back in 2010 – during archaeological excavations within the framework of the Oxford Archeology project.

“This is the oldest accidentally preserved bird egg I have ever seen”, said Douglas G.D. Russell, Senior Curator of Bird Eggs and Nests at the Natural History Museum (NHM).

Scientists have found an ancient bird’s egg, the white and yolk of which have been preserved for almost two millennia. Photo: Oxford Archaeology

Russell noted that there are also older eggs, the contents of which are still preserved. For example, the Natural History Museum (NHM) has a series of mummified eggs, probably excavated in Egypt in 1898. However, until now, researchers have not found those that were preserved intact in natural conditions.

Archaeologists found the eggs in a pit that was probably dug to supply water for sweetening and brewing around 260 AD. Next to the eggs lay ceramic products. Scientists assume that when the pit was no longer used, they were left there as a gift to the gods.

“In the Roman world, as a rule, people performed rituals and left gifts to the gods, similar to the way coins are thrown into fountains for good luck today.” said Edward Biddulph, Senior Manager of Oxford Archaeology.

Three of the four eggs found were intact. But due to their extreme fragility, two cracked as soon as they were pulled out. Archaeologists say that at that moment they felt a “sulphurous aroma”.

And only in August 2023, researchers discovered liquid inside one egg that remained. Scientists from the University of Kent also joined the research. Together, they performed a micro-CT scan of the egg. It showed that the egg yolk and white were surprisingly still preserved.

“I wonder if we can use any of the modern imaging and analysis techniques available here at the Natural History Museum to find out exactly what kind of bird laid these eggs and what potential archaeological significance they have.”– noted Russell.

Edward Biddulph added that archaeologists plan to carefully extract the liquid to better study it. This will be done using a process similar to blowing an egg.

“No one has seen anything like this before, so every step of the research creates new moments with amazing potential. It’s very exciting.” said Biddulph.

It will be recalled that scientists scanned a unique petrified nest, which is 29 million years old.

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